How Chernobyl shook the USSR.
Chernobyl's Literary Legacy, 30 Years Later.
No literary response to Chernobyl deserves a wider readership than Voices From Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster. [Svetlana] Alexievich, the Belarusian journalist who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2015, represents the broadest range of a society whose alienation makes them “a separate people. A new nation.” In these pages, harrowing stories of lost loved ones sit alongside litanies against technological hubris; the history of ideas—“the era of physics ended at Chernobyl”—contrasts with spots of black humor; science collides with superstition. The cumulative effect is not the absorption of Chernobyl, but rather an unlimited expansion. More than any other work, Alexievich’s provides a direct, vertiginous glimpse of Chernobyl's abyss.